"And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home" Deuteronomy 6:5-6
Doug Fields -Author of Intentional Parenting
When I first began mountain biking, I quickly found it was not like the type of bike riding I did when I was a kid. It's not "jump on the bike and ride all day." It's much different! There are so many moving parts like front and back sprockets, brake levers, and multiple shifting systems. Add to this the extreme terrain, and it gets very confusing.
Today, I own most of the gear that is "required" for the sport. Basically, I have everything needed except for...the needed skills and the personal coaching.
On a recent ride I began to think about how little I know about this sport. I really need a coach/mentor. I have so many technical questions. I'm not always sure when is the best time to shift on different slopes. I have front shocks that need to be adjusted based on the terrain and I don't have the slightest idea what to do. My list of "how to" questions could fill pages.
As I was riding and thinking about my need for a mountain bike coach/mentor, I began to think about the teenagers in our homes and the process of faith development. What are we doing with all their questions about following Christ? Do we even know the questions they're asking (or not asking)? Or, do we assume they'll catch everything about Jesus as they begin their "ride with him"?
Much like I need a riding coach, teenagers need a "Jesus coach." While mountain biking is much more complex than "jump on a bike"...so following Jesus is much more complex than a simple "go to church."
Could it be that we, as parents, have become good at getting kids involved at church...but we're not so good at coaching them on how to walk with Jesus? I fear that if they don't know how to walk with Jesus, when they graduate from high school and go on to college and their adult lives, they will also graduate away from church and perhaps even Jesus.
Some questions: (1) Do your kids know that you want to coach them in the ways of Jesus? (2) Do they know they can ask simple questions and have a confidence that you will care enough not to laugh at their questions? (3) Do they know that in you, they have someone to "ride with" even though they struggle and occasionally fall?
Jesus spent most of his time with the few, pouring into their lives. I'd like to suggest that your "few" are living within the walls of your home. They don't need to be told to "go to church," they need you: a coaching, listening, loving, and caring you.